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GM workers in Ontario strike

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Canada’s Unifor Local 88 at a General Motors plant in Ontario began striking at 10:59 p.m. Sunday, according to the union’s website.

Under a headline “GM unit-tentative agreement not reached,” the union said the Master Bargaining Committee had not been successful in reaching a new tentative pact with GM.

“These workers are standing up for good jobs. Not just for themselves, but for the entire community,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias in a news release dated Sunday.

A previous post by the local on its website indicated that it was to meet with the automaker Sunday afternoon in a move that brought bargaining at the Ingersoll, Ontario, plant down to the wire.

“We believe this is the result of the tremendous support we have received from the membership,” the post said. “Discussion have become intense and we are starting to see some movement.”

The Cami assembly plant produces the second-generation Equinox SUV. A key goal, the union said in the release, was a commitment from GM to designate the Cami plant as the lead producer of the Equinox.

In July, production of the Terrain in Ingersoll ceased and all production moved to Mexico, resulting in 600 layoffs, the union said.

“Every member understands the importance of reaching a deal that secures production, and what that means to our families and the community,” said Mike Van Boekel, Local 88 chairman at the plant.

GM said it was disappointed it did not reach an agreement with Unifor.

“While General Motors of Canada and our Unifor partners have made very positive progress on several issues over the past weeks, the company is disappointed that we were not able to complete a new agreement,” said Jennifer Wright, GM Canada spokeswoman. “We encourage Unifor to resume negotiations and to continue working together to secure a competitive agreement.”

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